A sharp increase in raider activity has the station on the defensive. Londo obtains a priceless Centauri artifact. A mysterious stranger visits the station's alien ambassadors.
Ivanova, after awakening with difficulty from a sound sleep, reports to C&C just in time to find Sinclair listening to a distress call from a lone Starfury pilot who's being attacked by raiders not far from the station. Sinclair launches a wing of fighters to aid the pilot, but it's too late; the raiders overwhelm and destroy the Starfury.
A well-dressed man comes aboard the station on his own. When the customs officer comments that his identicard hasn't been updated in a while, the man replies that he's been out of touch, out exploring on the Rim. "Find anything interesting?" asks the officer. "Yes," replies the man with an enigmatic smile.
Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Sinclair meet. Ivanova reports that by the time the station's fighters got there, there was nothing left of the Starfury they were supposed to rescue. Garibaldi comments that the raiders have been hitting closer and closer to Babylon 5 lately, prompting Ivanova to wonder how they're getting in and out so quickly. The raider ships are much too small to make their own jump points, and the nearest jumpgate in this latest incident was hours away. Sinclair puts Delta Wing on alert and asks Garibaldi to go over the cargo manifests of ships due to arrive shortly in the hopes of identifying the raiders' next target.
After Ivanova leaves, Sinclair tells Garibaldi what he's discovered about the events during his 24 hours out of action at the Battle of the Line (cf. "And the Sky Full of Stars") and asks Garibaldi to help him find out more.
Londo, waiting at a bar table, is visited by a somewhat sleazy-looking man who hands him a black box. The box contains the Eye, "the oldest symbol of Centauri nobility, property of the first Emperor, lost over a hundred years ago at the Battle of Nashok." The Centauri government, says Londo, paid very generously for the Eye. "But I would very much like to know how you got your hands on this," Londo says. "No, you wouldn't," says the man, and leaves. Londo walks off with the Eye, unaware that he's being watched by someone at the bar - the newcomer who'd been out exploring.
G'Kar and Londo find themselves waiting for the same transport tube. Londo mentions a famine on the southern frontier of the Narn homeworld; the conversation quickly degenerates into a barrage of insults and threats, causing both of them to miss the lift.
Later, G'Kar is visited in his quarters by Morden, the man who arrived on the station earlier. Morden claims his visit was authorized by the correct officials in the Narn government. He has come to ask G'Kar a question: "What do you want?" Morden persists, asking the question again and again, until G'Kar nearly kicks him out of his quarters. Finally, as if sensing the intent of the question, G'Kar tells Morden that what he really wants is to decimate the Centauri - "to completely, utterly erase them." "And then what?" asks Morden. G'Kar, taken aback, answers, "I don't know. As long as my homeworld's safety is guaranteed, I don't know that it matters." Morden thanks G'Kar and leaves; it appears that wasn't quite the answer he was looking for.
Meanwhile, Londo greets a Centauri noble, Lord Kiro, and Kiro's aunt, Lady Ladira, who is also the seer and prophetess of Kiro's house. Ladira looks rather ill, initially ascribing it to the rigors of space travel. But it's soon clear that Babylon 5 itself is causing her distress; she pushes herself into a corner and begins ranting. "Babylon will fall. This place will be destroyed! Fire... death... pain..." She faints.
Later, Kiro and Londo are with Ladira in Kiro's quarters. She's feeling better now, but the vision is still there: Babylon 5 will be destroyed. The ordeal has left her tired, and she excuses herself. As she leaves, Londo questions her accuracy. Kiro recalls with a derisive chuckle that when he was young, she predicted he would someday be killed by shadows.
He asks Londo if he can see the Eye, which originally belonged to his family, before he plays lowly messenger and brings it back to the Emperor. Londo agrees. As they leave Kiro's quarters, they're followed by a shady character, who reports into a small device: "Six to one. Have located target. Commencing surveillance."
Morden visits Delenn in her quarters and asks her the same question he asked G'Kar. With her back to Morden, she questions the purpose of his visit. In midsentence, she stops as if she suddenly feels faint. Her hand shoots to her forehead, covering it, and then away, to reveal a hollow silver triangle glowing in her skin. (cf. "And the Sky Full of Stars")
She covers her forehead again and spins around to face Morden. He becomes darker and darker until he appears nothing more than a silhouette - a shadow. Delenn demands that he leave immediately; he does so, apparently unaware that she sensed anything odd about him. After he's gone, Delenn's triangle fades away as she looks on, shocked. "They're here," she says, a hint of fear in her voice.
Kiro and Londo look at the Eye in Londo's quarters. Kiro paces and speaks of conditions back home. The people grow unhappy, disillusioned with the government; the Emperor has not been seen in public for over a year. Finally, he comes out with what's on his mind: why should he give the Eye back to the Emperor when his family is its rightful owner? Londo calms him down, reminding him that he could try to use the Eye to usurp the Emperor's power, but he would quickly be dead. "These are not the good old days," Londo says wistfully. "Yes," answers Kiro, "more's the pity." Kiro leaves the Eye in Londo's care, wondering out loud where everything went wrong for the Centauri.
Ladira, asleep, dreams of her vision, or the sounds of it. Voices shouting: "Evacuate!" "They're heading for the docking bay!" "Hit 'em with everything we've got!" "Destruct! Destruct!" Then the sound of an explosion. She awakens.
In space, the freighter Achilles is enroute to a jumpgate when its scanners pick up raider ships approaching. They call for help; Sinclair, in C&C, orders Delta Wing to launch. Ivanova, the wing commander, heads for the station's jumpgate at top speed.
Six, the man who watched Londo and Kiro earlier reports in again. "They've taken the bait. You keep them busy. We'll take care of Babylon 5 from this end."
Kosh returns to the station in his ship. As he disembarks and walks down the hall, Morden ducks behind a corner to avoid being seen.
Delta Wing arrives through the jumpgate nearest the Achilles. Ivanova orders two ships to stay behind at the gate in case the raiders try to flee through it; the rest follow her at maximum burn toward the Achilles.
Kiro calls Londo and says he's ready to leave with the Eye. Londo assures him that the Centauri military will have ships to ready protect Kiro every step of the way once he enters Babylon 5's gate. Londo gathers up the Eye and leaves his quarters.
As he reaches the transport tube, he's intercepted by Morden, who asks his usual question and claims he's not allowed to leave until he gets an answer. Londo is irritated and says he just wants to be left alone. "Is that it, Ambassador?" asks Morden. "Is that all you want?"
Irritated, Londo answers that no, that's not all he wants. He wants the Centauri Republic to stretch forth across the galaxy, to regain its days of glory. "I want to stop running around like a man late for an appointment, afraid to look forward or look back ... I want it all back, the way that it was." He calms down. "Does that answer your question?"
"Yes," Morden says to himself after Londo leaves. "Yes, it does."
Sinclair, troubled that the latest raider attack is taking place much farther from the station than other recent raids, asks for a cargo manifest for the Achilles.
Six and an accomplice intercept Londo, Kiro, and Ladira as they head for Kiro's ship. He has his accomplice take the Eye ahead, while he takes the three Centauri hostage and orders them to continue to the ship.
Sinclair learns that the Achilles is carrying farming equipment, hardly valuable enough to be worth raiding. Deducing that it may be a diversion, he orders Ivanova to return to base. He checks the list of arriving and departing ships and notices that Kiro's personal liner is scheduled to leave shortly. He heads for the docking bay.
Sinclair arrives in the bay just as Six and his hostages do. Kiro tries to fight Six off, but ends up with his arm twisted behind his back and a gun to his head. Six warns Sinclair against trying to stop him from leaving, threatening to burn a hole through the station's hull. Sinclair stands aside and says Six is free to go.
Once Six and Kiro have left, Sinclair tells Garibaldi to stand by with Alpha Wing and disable the liner as soon as it leaves the station. Londo escorts Ladira out of the docking bay. She is preoccupied. "The shadows are coming for him."
As Garibaldi and the rest of Alpha Wing chase after the liner, a jump point forms near the station. A carrier flies through and releases a swarm of raider ships. "So that's how they're doing it," says Sinclair. "A ship that big would have to be capable of solo jumps."
The raider ships occupy Garibaldi's attention as the situation develops into a full-blown firefight. While he and his men (with the help of the station's defensive grid) fight the raiders, the Centauri liner enters a small docking bay in the raider mothership and is sealed inside.
Meanwhile, amid sirens and a mob of people heading for safer parts of the station, Londo finds Ladira standing in the middle of a corridor. He tries to get her to leave, but she is paying more attention to her vision. "Fire. Death and destruction. The shadows have come for Lord Kiro. The shadows have come for us all!"
Elsewhere on the station, Morden hurries down an empty corridor as if late for an appointment. Kosh emerges from a doorway, blocking Morden's path. "Leave this place," Kosh says. "They are not for you. Go. Leave. Now." Morden doesn't appear ready to obey.
The battle grows more intense. Sinclair tells Garibaldi to drive the raiders toward the back of the station, and tells one of the C&C techs to recalibrate the defense grid accordingly. As the raiders are driven back, Ivanova and her team emerge from the jumpgate. "Surprise."
Between Ivanova, the station's guns, and Garibaldi at their tails, the raiders don't last long. Unfortunately, the mothership creates a jump point while its fighters are keeping everyone busy. Ivanova tries to follow it into hyperspace, but Sinclair orders her not to. The raider mothership gets away.
Garibaldi tells Sinclair that the station sustained minor damage, with a few injuries. Ambassador Kosh has asked for tools to repair his encounter suit, but won't say what happened to it. The station lost two ships in the battle; one pilot managed to eject in time. Garibaldi speculates that they've hurt the raiders badly enough that they won't be back for a long time, if ever - the mothership, after all, is just a big target without its fighters.
Ladira and Londo come into Sinclair's office. Sinclair demands to know what was on the ship that was so valuable, and why it wasn't on the manifest. Ladira has another vision, this time of the raider mothership emerging from a jump point elsewhere in space.
Inside the ship, Six has his men grab Kiro from behind. He laughs at Kiro's objection that the two of them had a deal; the raiders intend to ransom the Eye to the Centauri, and then ransom Kiro as well.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a huge alien ship, black with spines and dark blue mottling, appears just next to the raider mothership. Without warning or provocation, it slices into the mothership with an intense beam weapon, cutting the raider ship to ribbons within seconds.
Later, Londo and Ladira say farewell. Londo is despondent; he feels he will be held responsible for the loss of the Eye. "It would seem my career is finished," he says. When Ladira offers to help, he replies, "I'm afraid I'm beyond anything short of a miracle." She leaves.
Seconds after, Londo's door chimes. It's Morden, and he's carrying a charred box. "A gift," he says, "from friends you don't know you have." Londo opens the box. It's the Eye. He turns to thank Morden, but the man seems to have vanished. "Let me buy you a drink!" shouts Londo. "Let me buy you a whole fleet of drinks! How can I ever find you to thank you?"
"We will find you, Ambassador," a disembodied voice answers. "We will find you."
In the lavatory, Garibaldi and Sinclair talk about the successful resolution of the situation. On the way out, Garibaldi says he did some checking and found that Sinclair wasn't first on the list to run Babylon 5. In fact, he was very far down the list. The Minbari, it seems, made their support of the station contingent on being able to approve the commander, and rejected everyone right down the line until Sinclair. "They wanted you, Jeff."
Sinclair meets Ladira in a departure lounge. When she tells him of her vision, he replies that it didn't happen; the station came through the attack just fine. Ladira replies that the station is safe for now - but the vision is still there. She offers to let him see her vision, not an easy thing, but possible. He agrees. He sees Babylon 5 from space. A shuttle flies from the docking bay as the station erupts in explosions, the hull rupturing as Babylon 5 is eaten from the inside by a firestorm. Finally it detonates, blown into thousands of fiery fragments.
Sinclair is hoarse. "This... is it a vision of what will be, or what might be?"
"The future is always changing. We create the future, with our words, with our deeds, and with our beliefs. This is a possible future, Commander. And it is my hope that you may yet avoid it."
Ladira bows and leaves Sinclair to ponder what he's just seen.
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